September 21, 2020, ainerd
How will people travel in the future?
Let’s hope the global response to this pandemic hasn’t made travel in the future only a virtual experience.
With cities fighting back against mass tourism, the world being reshaped by technology, airlines finding new ways to squeeze money out of fees, and social media influencers trending on destinations with just a few Instagram pictures, there is much to do for the future of travel. Recently, there have been a plethora of articles about how destinations and businesses will change and what travel will look like when we go on holiday again.
Airports and resorts around the world are showing glimpses of the future of travel, from iPads – controlled hotel rooms – to smartphones in hotels and restaurants.
Travelers will also start using virtual reality, which allows consumers to see destinations without actually traveling there. Space travel will become a reality for luxury travelers in 2030, and by 2050 it will become a more mainstream vacation option for the masses. I am a hopeless optimist, but I think that in 10 years almost every country on earth will open its borders to travellers. As far as lifting borders is concerned, I am optimistic about the future of travel – but only because I am confident that it will be a successful outcome.
The right solution to today’s fluid situation will not be found overnight, and no crystal ball can tell us what the future of travel will be. I believe that people will continue to prefer domestic travel in the near future and will travel more internationally for the rest of the year. There is no doubt that travel costs will rise in the future, but it is a safe bet that future travel will inevitably get worse. Either it will be severely restricted, or it will have been the worst travel experience of my life so far – and certainly not a good one.
GoNOMAD conducted a survey in which people answered questions about when they feel safe again, which means of travel they prefer and what they would like to visit first after quarantine is lifted. We asked travel experts what will restore people’s confidence to travel again after the Covid 19 pandemic has finally subsided. Will train travel (also known as Amtrak) make a comeback as people become afraid of flying in airports?
Will local and national travel increase if people forgo international and cross-border travel to travel within their own country? Will people think twice before moving far from home because the disease has a terrible impact on their health and the health of their families and friends? Will countries around the world come together to ensure that people who pose little or no health risk can travel seamlessly, or will they gather in small groups of friends and family and travel in groups with limited travel options? Is it possible to enjoy the same luxury experiences as before?
Will travellers, coupled with the fact that there will most likely be international travel restrictions, prefer destinations within their own country? Given the heavy traffic congestion at airports and the limited space on planes, travellers will probably look for other ways to cross borders and go on holiday. Those returning from international travel will be very selective in their choice of airlines and accommodation, and many people will prefer to travel to destinations rather than fly. Short and private trips are also being reduced due to the high cost of air travel and limited travel options.
Even the way we book airline tickets will become more complicated as health officials look for new ways to prevent future outbreaks.
As the travel industry shrinks, people will hopefully become more aware of the places they want to visit and explore. Without knowing it, I predict that we will be able to explore better tourist trails that will bring us closer to discovering hidden travel experiences than we have been so far, and this will be the result of increased travel understanding and a wider range of experiences.
Given that many travellers will choose to travel by car via plane and flight, driving becomes more popular than ever after quarantine is lifted.
Do not think that you need to plan trips at this point to look to the future, especially if you plan your trip in the speculative future and can find a good deal. If you are booking future trips now, do so as soon as possible, but do not be afraid to take the airline’s telephone line at any time in your speculative – future – travel planning if people try to book a flight within 48-72 hours so that they can get home.
Virtual reality will mean that many will not bother to travel if they can experience paradise in their own backyard. Travel is becoming a privilege again, as people decide how and where to travel. Flying and driving on holiday are a thing of the past, as computers do the driving for you. The problem is that most travel companies are already out of business, as the volume is growing more slowly than the travel companies hope and the time for a conversation about the future is over.